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UTHSCSA vs. Tulane

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by animeita, May 7, 2004.

  1. animeita

    animeita Junior Member
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    I was lucky enough to get into both schools, but the deadline for a final notice is coming FAST and I can't seem to settle on one. I'm hoping, as a last ditch effort, that someone here might have some input on this. UTHSCSA (Univ. of TX at San Antonio) is a good school in a great location AND it's cheap. Tulane is a great school in a bad location (or so I hear), and it's expensive, but they have offered me scholarship to go.

    I'd already decided on UTHSCSA because it's so much cheaper, but receiving the scholarship has put Tulane back on the radar screen for me. At this point, I need to decide whether or not Tulane is worth the still extra $40k+ I'd be paying for its MD/MPH (I do intend to pursue the MPH). Aside from the tuition, what basically concerns me about Tulane is its location (I didn't like it when I went to visit), the diversity of its class (Tulane admits fewer minorities than say UTHSCSA...), and the condition of its facilities.

    Any feedback would be great!
     
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  3. peptidoglycan

    peptidoglycan Senior Member
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    It sounds like you've already made up your mind. Don't go to a school solely for finances. You'll be miserable for the next 4 years, and possibly regretful forever. I happen to think Tulane is great, New Orleans is amazing, and the hospitals we work out of are full of learning opportunities. I also recognize that the building is old (the school is celebrating its 270th anniversary this year and we've been in that building next to Charity Hospital for a good many years), but the age of the building does not change the quality of your education one lick. One thing that will change what you get out of the experience is your attitude, and if you go into med school feeling like you picked the inferior choice, you're never going to be happy or as successful as you would be at your first choice. Like I said, I love Tulane and my vote is that you go there, but we want students who want to be there and who feel like I do. I know it was the best choice for me, and I think you need to go to the school that is the best choice for you. If you have any real questions about Tulane, feel free to PM me.
     
  4. randomlogik

    randomlogik Senior Member
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    I completely agree. I too absolutely love Tulane. Of course I could be a little biased because I go there, but I think its a great school. You're right the building is old, but I don't believe that has had any negative impact on my education. Personally, I think that New Orleans is one of the best cities to live in. When you're in med school your not going to be able to go out all the time, but when you want to go out, there is definately always something going on here. Also, I have found that the student body here is a great group of people. I definately don't regret my decision to come here.
     
  5. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    You already know my opinion. Don't let the facilities or money be the deciding factor. Go where you want.
     
  6. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year
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    as a minority, i don't find our class lacking in any diversity. if anything, i think we've got a really diverse class, especially when you start looking at people's backgrounds (i.e. we have former teachers, nuclear submarine operators, blackjack dealers, pretty much anything you can think of). the ethnic breakdown (in my opinion) reflects the pool of medical students nationally pretty well, i think. (i know there's a better way of wording that..i just can't think of it.)
     
  7. person2004

    person2004 Member
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    You might also like to look at the match lists for each school. I think the match list says a lot about the schools reputation nationally.

    I've never heard anyone describe New Orleans as a "bad location". ?
     
  8. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member
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    If you're going for the MPH I think Tulane is by far the best decision. They have a strong public health school with a national reputation, whereas I'm not so sure about the public health program in San Antonio.
     
  9. catch 23

    catch 23 Junior Member
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    Just as it would be a shame to go to a school based on finance it would also be a shame to go to a school solely based on name recognition. I have several friends who opted for schools based on name recognition and were very unhappy because they did not choose a school based on student body, atmosphere, location. If that school you feel best at happens to be a "name" school than that's a great place for you to go. But don't go there solely based on that idea. It's four intense years of your life that will nearly break you sometimes and you should go where you feel like you fit in best--regardless of reputation. Also, medical schools aren't exactly comparable to undergrad or other professional schools. There are far fewer med schools and almost all of them are considered reputable because of strict licensing standards. So go to the school you feel best at. I think reputation only becomes a significant factor if you want a career in research.

    Additionally, UTHSCSA is not an "inferior school." We have world-renowned faculty, amazing research opportunities, and our students score high on the USMLE similar to most medical schools in the country. The student body is composed of students from Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Rice, Penn, Berkely, Duke, WashU, Wellsely (spelling?)...We have high diversity in race, age, socioeconomic status, and occupation (for example, students born and raised in places other than the U.S. like Africa and Switzerland, a vet, teachers, accountants, minor-league professional soccer player, single parents, peaceCorps, Americorps...). Many students come to UTHSCSA because of the clinical option of doing third year in Harlingen (predominantly Mexican population which speak little English and have little access to healthcare so third years get to conduct clinical procedures that usually residents preform in other clinical settings = more hands on experience in practice and with attendings). Our Match list results are probably very similar to the rest of the country--If I remember at least 90% of the 4th years matched into their 1st or 2nd choices and into programs all over the U.S (neurosurgury, derm...UCLA, J. Hopkins...). Residency programs also like diversity and when a program only takes 8 students those 8 students are not all going to be from the same private college. Also San Antonio is close to Austin which is an amazingggggggg city to be a 20 or 30 something.

    Posts, where students try to suggest that their school is a better school, are a bit premature because in actuality they don't know because they've only attended one medical school. All one can offer is why they like their school--they can't assert if their school is "superior." The quality of education you get will be more or less similar at any med school because of the strict licensing guidelines. You should choose a school based on your specificity--are you interested in a certain research field, do you care about competition and personality of the student body, do you care about location...This is not an I hate Tulane response! I have a relative who has gone there and loved it. New Orleans is a great city and I'm sure every one of the above posters truly loves their school and feels like they made the best choice. I had the option of attending an "upper, lower, or middle tier" school and I'm very happy about my choice at UTHSCSA. I think you should go where you feel most comfortable and you'll be very happy at your school too.
     
  10. catch 23

    catch 23 Junior Member
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    As an interesting side note the people who care about rankings "such as US News and World Report" are students and applicants not so much as residency directors and employers. My dad is a Dean at a top 5 graduate school ranked by U.S. News and he attests to as much. I saw a study where residency programs and employers care less about med school reputation in choosing applicants and moreso about LOR/Board scores/Research...As patients have you ever gone to see a doctor because he graduated form Tulane or not gone to a doctor because he graduated from the University of small state? It's never even a factor considered. I don't think "you'll regret not choosing a superior school the rest of your life." The only people who think so are students who attend "superior" schools :D
     
  11. lowbudget

    lowbudget Senior Member
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    Texas resident here. My vote: go to San Antonio. I interviewed at both and wasn't too impressed with it Tulane personally. As far as reputation is concerned, whatever. It's pretty much the same, so let *your* Board scores (not the school's average) do the talking. As far as creature comforts are concerned, I liked San Antonio because of the Hill Country. The hospital's not located in some ghetto where you have to fight traffic to get to. New Orleans, different story. San Antonio as a school and town, I imagine, is much cheaper. New Orleans is a party town however, but as a former New Yorker, when you live in a town with a crap load of tourists, you tend to avoid them and all the traps they go to (New Orleans: Bourbon St. San Antonio: Riverwalk)... which means you should look at the stuff outside of the tourist crap. Creature comforts like weather matters. New Orleans: boggy and sunny. San Antonio: Dry and sunny.
     
  12. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    I find this post very humorous, because it's the residency directors and employers who value the training Tulane has to offer. We are not ranked in USN&WR's top 50. More to the point, the post you are criticizing is not even recommending Tulane on the basis of ranking or reputation, but rather is recommending that the OP not let cost be the deciding factor.
     
  13. imprint

    imprint Junior Member
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    Wow-- I'm in the same situation and am having trouble deciding.

    Samoa and Catch23-- where did you interview and what offers did you get before you made your final decisions? Why'd you choose Tulane/San Antonio over the other schools you got into?

    Thanks!
     
  14. firegirl

    firegirl Junior Member

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    so you see that you have chosen two schools where the students are loyal and excited about their institutions. as such, you really can't make a bad decision, any school (assuming you originally chose to apply because you liked the curriculum/format, etc) is what you make it. you will come out a doctor either way.
    that being said, i understand the name thing. i was ivy undergrad and applied to northern schools; i was actually looking for housing to go to Boston U when i decided to stay in SA for family reasons. i have never regretted the decision. san antonio is cheap (many students even buy houses rather than renting) it has incredible diversity-- not just racially, but age, experience, and interest, and our admin seems to really help with match, etc (i haven't been through it to know 1st hand.)
    anyhow, good luck with the decision. if you jump into med school with a good attitude you will love wherever you end up.
     

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